Portrait of Audrey

A fellowship for the social good

Cape York Partnership, Cape Operations Manager, Audrey Deemal, has been selected as a Westpac Social Change Fellow for 2023 

Westpac Scholars Trust has awarded ten entrepreneurs a Social Change Fellowship in 2023, valued at $500,000 in combined funding. 

The program is dedicated to supporting extraordinary individuals tackling complex social challenges around health, disability, disadvantage and unemployment. It awards up to $50,000 to each Social Change Fellow to grow and develop as leaders and scale their impact to keep driving positive change in Australia. 

“I am currently leading several social change initiatives to address the social needs of some of the most impoverished and marginalized people in Australia,” says Audrey. “I co-design programs with communities in the Cape and the results influence policy reform, which is perfectly aligned with this Fellowship. I am committed to using my personal development to directly benefit the remote communities in which I serve.” 

Audrey’s leadership journey began as a child listening to the stories of her grandparents, parents, uncles and aunties. 

“I wanted to be just like them, helping my people to face the challenges and diversities and strive for positive social change,” says Audrey. “I have seen systems and policies designed and implemented without our people having a voice. These have failed miserably because they strip away our capabilities, responsibilities, connections and our purpose.” 

Communities of focus among this year’s Social Change Fellows are at risk youth, people with disability and First Nations people, each of which are still significantly impacted by disadvantage. 

“My passion for social change is to find a better solution for food security in Cape York through our Mayi Market,” says Audrey. “There have been a number of enquiries, reports and recommendations, done by governments and health organisations and still no change. In fact, things have gotten worse. The price of food in Cape can be triple regional areas and is even worst during the wet season. There is significant danger in creating intergenerational poverty and poor health, including under nutrition, obesity and chronic lifestyle diseases. This is why social change is needed and this is why I want to learn more.” 

Audrey will be heading to Sydney in April for her first workshop as a Westpac Scholar. 


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